Two Conflicting Court of Appeals Opinions on Indemnity Clauses

Amicus Curious

In my judgment, this Court of Appeals opinion construes a contractual indemnity clause too narrowly in reversing a trial court’s judgment forcing the indemnitor to pay reasonable settlement value of a plaintiff’s premises liability suit.

The indemnitee was a trust (the Trust), which owned the commercial property upon which the accident that was the basis for the underlying liability suit occurred.  The Trust entered into a contract for an addition to its commercial property.  The general contractor sub-contracted the fire suppression work out to Brigade Fire Protection, Inc., the indemnitor (Brigade).  Brigade executed a contract with an indemnity clause in which it agreed to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless…the Trust…from and against allclaims, damages, losses, demands, liens, payments, suits, actions, recoveries, judgments, and expenses, including attorneys’ fees…which are made, brought or recovered…by reason of or resulting from, but not limited to, any injury

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